What You Don’t Know About Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen is one of the most legendary and daring satirists of all time. From Ali G to Borat, the British comedian has proven he is completely fearless when it comes to exposing society’s ills, on all sides of the political spectrum. Cohen is an equal opportunity offender who answers only to himself. He always makes us laugh too, which is hugely impressive considering the frequently dark material Cohen engages with. His personal life, meanwhile, is kept private. 

The Borat star has been married to Australian actress Isla Fisher since 2010. In line with their evident desire to keep their relationship to themselves, the couple got hitched in front of just six guests, as per People. Cohen seems like somebody who’s unafraid to put it all out there, but there’s a key difference between physical nudity — which he clearly has no issue with — and emotional nakedness. Suffice to say, Sacha Baron Cohen is a fascinating character in his own right, just as himself. 

Sacha Baron Cohen regrets becoming famous as himself

In an interview with GPB, Sacha Baron Cohen looked back on his early career beginnings, when his very first character was huge at home in the U.K., but the man behind Ali G remained a complete unknown. Cohen reminisced, “It was just fantastic. I was able to go on the Tube. I was able to have all the benefits of fame and not be famous.” The satirist wanted to continue working under the radar, reasoning he wouldn’t be able to play characters so readily if people knew who he was. 

Cohen regrets becoming a known entity in his own right, admitting, “There are great benefits of fame in that … you can speak to people who shouldn’t be able to speak to. People will take your call. And that’s been really useful … But I mean, some people love getting recognized and love the attention. I don’t love it … I loved that period where the shows were really successful, but nobody knew who I was.” He even recalled being unrecognized throughout London at the height of Ali G mania. 

Filming Bruno left Sacha Baron Cohen traumatized

Of all of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters, inappropriate Austrian fashion designer Bruno is probably the most outrageous. His titular 2009 comedy finds Cohen causing scenes at fashion shows, as well as getting up close and personal with homophobic hunters — which led to the infamous Sex and the City moment (via YouTube) — and the Westboro Baptist Church. After risking so much and putting himself in danger repeatedly, the British satirist was left scarred and shaken, admitting to Variety, “After Bruno, I was fairly traumatized.” 

He decided to focus on narrative comedy going forward, both for his own safety and sanity. Cohen revealed, “For about six months afterwards whenever I heard a police siren, I would start to get tense, because I’d been chased by the police so much. I vowed never to make another undercover movie again.” Obviously, he didn’t stick to that promise, and Borat 2 eventually came about thanks in large part to the election of President Donald Trump, which was something Cohen simply couldn’t ignore.

Cohen had a major first on Borat 2

Although the British satirist is no stranger to being in peril as a result of his frequently outlandish stunts, during an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show (via YouTube), Sacha Baron Cohen revealed Borat 2 represented an interesting first for him. “This was the first movie where I’ve had to wear a bulletproof vest,” he revealed. In fact, during his now infamous performance at an anti-lockdown protest, someone pulled a gun on him after realizing who it really was. 

But “luckily enough there was a very brave guard who actually grabbed his hand, leaned in and said, ‘It’s not worth it, buddy.'” Cohen’s bravery might seem shocking, but his loved ones know what to expect from the agitator at this stage. Speaking to The Guardian, filmmaker Adam McKay opined, “I think Sacha would go to jail for the revolution. Or suffer blacklisting or surveillance. But I know for sure he’d give his life for a big laugh.”

This prank put Cohen in serious danger

He pushes the envelope constantly, but Sacha Baron Cohen rarely regrets causing mischief wherever he goes. While appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show, back in the U.K., the legendary satirist recalled how he’d offended seemingly the entire nation of Kazakhstan with bumbling, onesie-sporting journalist Borat, to the extent the country’s prime minister publicly denounced him. However, he doesn’t regret any of it, nor does Cohen feel bad over getting Dick Cheney to sign his “waterboarding kit” (via YouTube). 

If there’s one prank Cohen thinks went a bit too far, it’s the ending of Bruno, when he and another actor staged a lewd display in front of a baying crowd during an MMA-style cage match. As the comedian explained on YouTube, gathered fans got so angry with the raunchy display that they started throwing metal chairs at the duo. Although Cohen was understandably scared, he never broke character. The British star did describe the situation as “hairy,” though, which seems like an understatement.  

Sacha Baron Cohen reckons Borat and Trump have a lot in common

Sacha Baron Cohen has been a long-time critic of Trump, all the way back to his Ali G interview (via YouTube) with the former president, but he actually reckons there are some key similarities between him and Cohen’s most famous character. Speaking to the Financial Times, the British satirist opined, “Borat is the perfect character for the Trump era, because he is just a slightly more extreme version of Trump. They are both misogynistic and racist, they both don’t care about democracy, and they’re both laughable characters.”

Borat, which was released in 2006, exposed the rot at the core of American society, but its 2020 sequel capitalized on how, under Trump, everything was out in the open. As Cohen put it, “Opinions that we put on screen back in 2006 are now being espoused by the president himself!” Thankfully, with Trump out of office, there’s no need for Sacha Baron Cohen to go undercover again particularly since, as he told CBS News, “I can’t do it again. I was lucky to make it out of this one fully intact.” 

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